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Press gets scoops from tabloids

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(Editor's note: Art Buchwald is reprinting some of his favorite columns.)

You have probably seen the Daily Slime in the supermarkets by the cash registers. You know the one — the headline reads, "95-Year-Old Woman Gives Birth to Twin Alsatian Puppies."

Some of you may wonder who puts this stuff out.

The editor of the Daily Slime is a friend of mine named Charley Smut, and while the rest of the country is worrying about the stock market, Charley is in hog heaven.

Charley and I were sharing a pizza when he said, through a mouthful of anchovies, "They're starting to take us seriously."

"Who is they?"

"The press and television. For years they ignored us, but today they read us first before they go with the story. The New York Times used to be the pacesetter for news in this country. Now it's the Daily Slime."

"How do you explain it?" I asked.

"The people want to know about sick stuff, so the straight papers and TV have to provide it," he said, laughing.

"Their stories will say something like: 'The Daily Slime, a notorious supermarket rag, revealed today that Sen. Dipthong is a flasher and hangs around beauty parlors in a Burberry trench coat. This charge could not be confirmed, and Sen. Dipthong refused to answer our calls.' The media people have the best of both worlds. They lay the story on us and then they report it in its entirety."

"I know that this is a crazy question, but have you ever printed anything that turned out to be true?"

Smut thought for a while. "I think there was one story we reported about a schoolteacher who ran off with a 13-year-old student and then flunked him in English."

"Was it true?"

"Yup. She told the kid that if he wanted a passing grade he had to kill her husband."

"Did the rest of the media pick it up?"

"Nah, they found out it was true, and so they wouldn't touch it."

Los Angeles Times Syndicate